In his first State of the Union address, Donald Trump‘s calls for unity were enthusiastically applauded by Republicans thrilled by his tax plan and greeted with indifference by Democrats, alienated by his policies and combative messages.
At the start of the speech, delivered to a joint session of Congress, Trump said, “I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”
During his 80-minute speech, Trump also touched upon the hot-button issue of immigration, blaming the “open border” policy of past administrations for allowing gangs to flourish and take the lives of Americans. While he offered a plan to let “Dreamers” – those undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children – a path towards citizenship, he said they shouldn’t be a priority, adding, “Americans are dreamers, too.”
Trump steered clear of mentioning the on-going investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia and also faced some push-back from within the chamber. There were audible groans during his comments about immigration, and Congressional Black Caucus members failed to applaud as Trump bragged about historically low unemployment for African Americans. (The Washington Post)
- Trump and first lady Melania reportedly drove separately to the big speech.
- Joe Kennedy the Third delivered the Democratic response, prompting speculation that some day we could have another Kennedy in the White House.
- While Republicans applauded and shook Trump’s hand after the speech, Democrats made a quick exit.
- Trump’s 80-minute speech is the third-longest State of the Union speech in the past 50 years. Bill Clinton holds the number-one and number-two spots with an hour-and-28-minutes in 2000 and an hour-24-minutes in 1995.